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Steve Chapman has seen a new study that blows up the myth of racial profiling.

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  • Jennifer||

    There is a similar difference, after all, between the sexes -- males are nearly twice as likely as females to be arrested during a stop. Is that because cops are sexists? No, it's because men commit more crimes.

    Or because men are more likely than women to act in a belligerent fashion that would escalate a simple traffic stop into an arrestable offense. But I know of no evidence that black people are more likely than whites to do such a thing.

  • Guy Montag||

    Ah, sneeky! You apparently got this one posted before David or Radley woke up :)

    Some casual observations from the pedestrian perspective. In my well-to-do neighborhood the only people I have seen carted off by the police in cuffs were acting violently. From yelling, screaming and swinging at folks while dragging luggage down the sidewalk to breaking windows in cars and my condo building. Not sure if the one carjacker I heard of being shot was shot by cops or the victim.

    I have never seen or heard of panhandlers being asked to move along, arrested or bothered by the cops at all if all they were doing was asking for money (even if they were annoying about it).

    Turns out that all of the folks being cuffed and arrested were black. The rest mentioned were either black or white (I don't remember any other-race panhandlers around here anyway). Just like Mr. Chapman notes in his article, this is no indication of racism. It does show that if you get violent around here the cops will be along to give you a free bed for a nice rest where you can't bother people in public.

  • ||

    All hail Bill Cosby.

    and in other news:

    The rev. Al Sharlton said today, "them honkee mofo cave dwellers makes the brothers sling rock and turn out the bitches by not given em a chance to become somebody. It ain't our fault. Let me aks you dis, how come theys mo young black mens in prison than whites even though theys mo whites in the popalation? Its cause whitey wont give us no chance!"

  • ||

    I would hope the cops give more tickets to people in nicer cars. And if we'd stop rewarding cops for finding drugs, maybe they'd stop hassling the brothers.

  • Guy Montag||

    I would hope the cops give more tickets to people in nicer cars. And if we'd stop rewarding cops for finding drugs, maybe they'd stop hassling the brothers.

    Actually, the nicer cars seem to be driven by minorities. Especially the cool, giant SUVs.

    What do you have against them?

  • ||

    I'm a bit confused here, and reading the article three times has not helped. Are you claiming that racial profiling was -always- a myth? "Study blows up the myth of racial profiling" Or are you claiming that it is -now- a myth. ("It dosen't exist -anymore-")As I recall there was some fairly solid data showing that it did exist and this led to lots of publicity and changes. Did something change, or was it always a bunch of Al Sharpton lies? Maybe Reason could hire someone to look into this and compare the new study with the old ones. You could give that person the job title "journalist." Or, you could hire someone to help you write clearer ledes. You could give that person the job title "editor".

  • ||

    I agree with A.B.
    It's one thing to point out that this latest study provides no evidence of profiling. It's another to then tack on 'therefore it doesn't exist'.

  • David||

    "In 2005, for instance, blacks were nearly seven times more likely to be in prison than whites."

    This doesn't mean black people _commit_ more crimes, only that they are _convicted_ more. Do you have another example of the crime rate difference?

  • Adam||

    With the drug war in particular, blacks are just as likely as whites to use illegal drugs but much more likely to be arrested, convicted and imprisoned for it. From my experience in traffic court, the judge is notably harsher on black and Hispanic citizens than white ones.

    Given the stats, and the known widespread corruption in law enforcement, I don't think its much of a stretch to surmise racial bias.

  • ||

    There is a similar difference, after all, between the sexes -- males are nearly twice as likely as females to be arrested during a stop. Is that because cops are sexists? No, it's because men commit more crimes.

    Or because men are more likely than women to act in a belligerent fashion that would escalate a simple traffic stop into an arrestable offense. But I know of no evidence that black people are more likely than whites to do such a thing.


    Or because men are less likely to successfully flirt with a police officer and get out of a ticket.

  • ||

    Thumbs down. This isn't even an opinion piece, just conclusions drawn from inconclusive data.

  • Ex Omnes||

    Well, I'm a man, and I have had surprising success flirting with officers. Just kidding. (Actually, I did--sort of without realizing it--once, and was instantly terrified of what might happen.)

    Seriously, I wonder if these sorts of studies ever take into account the race of the officers involved in the stops?

  • Brian Carnell||

    "Plenty of other elements could generate these divergent patterns. Why would black drivers be arrested more often? Maybe because African-Americans commit crimes at a far higher rate and are convicted of felonies at a far higher rate. In 2005, for instance, blacks were nearly seven times more likely to be in prison than whites."

    Isn't this circular reasoning? Perhaps *part* of the reason Blacks are more likely to be arrested and convicted of felonies is precisely that police are more likely to search their vehicles and persons and that they are subject to more scrutiny in general.

    My wife served on a jury that acquitted a black man of misdemeanor marijuana possession. The police had pulled him over because on a late summer evening they felt that he had squealed his tires a too loudly while making a turn (seriously..this was the justification for pulling him over). A search turned a small amount of marijuana residue in the ash tray.

    That's the sort of scrutiny, frankly, I don't think I'd ever have to worry about as a white driver.

  • ||

    Brian--

    I think those sorts of stops have more to do with the kind of car one is driving. My son, who is even whiter than I am, has been pulled over for that sort of thing--and less--more than once. He also drives a Mustang GT, and tends to be out late at night since he works nights. Was this black man driving a sportscar, by chance?

  • ||

    Yeah, this is pretty poor work. Chapman is right to suggest that higher search and arrest rates incident to stops COULD be explained by legitimate factors, but that hardly justifies a solid conclusion that racial profiling must be a myth. But, as I have said since his articles started appearing here, this is typical Chapman. His stuff is average at best, and when it's not, then P.U.
    I think I'm becoming a horrible elitist, but I can't stand the articles by the 'pundits' here or elsewhere. A pundit is usually a journalist, maybe with a bachelors degree in journalism, whose talent and training seems to be in mastering writing and grammar. But they have no expertise in the subjects they are writing in. There are professors who study one narrow topic their entire lives. Now that's expertise! I've noticed that the journalists who study one topic fairly exclusively, such as Sullum on drugs/public health or Balko on law enforcement, seem to have much better articles (when they are on their subjects) than the Youngs, Chapmans, etc., who just say "today I will write about..."

  • Timothy||

    I am not amused.

  • ||

    David and Brian,

    If you don't trust conviction rates as a measure of how many crimes are committed by blacks, maybe we could look at complaints; of 100 calls to the cops in which someone says, "I was just robbed!" how many of the callers go on to say, "The robber was black!"?

  • Jennifer||

    Or because men are less likely to successfully flirt with a police officer and get out of a ticket.

    Well, it's fairly easy to cutie-pie your way out of a ticket, but that's very different from flirting your way out of an actual committed-a-crime arrest.

  • Carl||

    This is an isolated example but being from a rust belt town with an extremely high homicide rate maybe I have a different perspective. I happen to know some of the police force and the terms "undocumented Canadians" and "unregistered democrats" don't really refer to those groups.

  • Allen||

    You need to get hold of some people like ex-St. Paul Police Chief Finney on issues like this. Minnesota Public Radio had a show a couple years ago on this that included him. The way to sum it up is he said something to the affect of "look, in this city the unfortunate truth is most blacks are poor. We get more calls (domestics, noise complaints, shots fired, buglary, et al.) in the areas where poor people are living. Are cops are already there; they're bound to make more traffic stops, too".

    As for the myth, I think it's fair to say that. Those claiming there is bias are making a pretty heavy claim. They should need to have to clearly prove their claim. They haven't.

    And I can see folks getting away with stuff. I know cops who after pulling someone over get the "you're just pulling me over cuz I'm black" line thrown right at them. Now they usually reply "no, it's because you're tabs expired 4 months ago" or if they're a bit crabby "you're just saying that cuz I'm white / hispanic / etc". But they also tend to be a little more careful about handing out a ticket. The tabs may be a clear cut case but when it's not they may avoid doing it. But not cuz they're trying to improve their image, just because they're more paranoid that person is going to challenge the ticket in court which means they'll have to show up in court (not fun when you're on the night shift or it's your day off).

  • ||

    I doubt the stats on traffic stops versus arrest are complete without considering the age of the "stoppee".

    When I was a young sailor I was stopped and ticket twice in the Norfolk and VA Beach areas of VA. One ticket was for 2mph over; the other was for 7mph over. Both of these cases were incidences of "driving while being a sailor", but I have to wonder if my age (18yo) also had something to do with it. In neither case did I give the cop any crap.

    I've been stopped twice since I have become, shall we say, a more mature adult. Once was in the California desert & though I was going faster, the copy gave me a gift of only writing the ticket for 19mph over. The other time I was clocked a 55mph in a 25mph zone on the Eastern Shore of MD. I got off that one with not even a written warning. I doubt I would have gotten away with the "discounted" ticket in CA or the no ticket in MD if I were 18 no matter how polite I was to the cop.

    Location may have an influence too. How about comparing just urban areas verses rural areas. Are the stop vs arrests the same on the NJ turnpike as I-94 in North Dakota?

  • ||

    Maybe because African-Americans commit crimes at a far higher rate and are convicted of felonies at a far higher rate. In 2005, for instance, blacks were nearly seven times more likely to be in prison than whites.

    The number of people in prisons are unrelated to the number of people who commit crimes.

  • ||

    Interesting to see this piece run in the same journal that points out relentlessly how many more blacks than whites get arrested for drug offenses and questions whether it really means that blacks are committing more of such crimes.

  • ||

    Wow, way to bend over backwards and avoid knowledge of all the well documented abuses by police that folks here document.

    I have to assume that he's never been to a cop bar, and certainly never been to a backyard bbq with any white cops before. I guess no one, certainly not him, remembers the days when Chicago cops used to be unafraid to say they were going to go "mexercise" by hassling latinos openly, over the radios here in Chicago.

    His logic is to torturous to follow reasonably.

  • ||

    The fact that a larger percentage of blacks than whites have been convicted or jailed for a crime does not mean that blacks commit more crimes. It means only what it says: that blacks are convicted and jailed at higher rates.

    First off, blacks tend to be given higher sentences for the same offense than whites. White criminals are more likely to receive probation or a suspended sentence, so they are less likely to be in jail than black criminals. Whites are also more likely to be paroled, which also reduces the proportion of whites in prison at any time.

    Second, if law enforcement BELIEVE that blacks commit more crimes, then they will (acting logically on that belief) spend more time looking for crime in "black neighborhoods" than in white ones. This means that a black criminal is more likely to be caught than a white criminal. This means that a higher proportion of black criminals will be charged with a crime -- because the white ones aren't getting prosecuted.

    Third, crimes associated with black criminals are frequently the target of particular paranoia and extra law enforcement effort. Consider the sentencing (and investigation) disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.

    In any event, a large proportion of both blacks and whites who have been convicted and jailed, have been convicted and jailed for phony crimes such as drug possession and dealing. Unless these pseudo-crimes are removed from the statistics, it's impossible to get honest figures for crime.

  • ||

    My problem with it was that the study didn't seem to take specific areas into account. That is, while high DWB offenses might not be all that noticeable in the aggregate, I guarantee you there are spot areas where DWB spikes considerably. Wealthier, white 'burbs right across from the "wrong side of the tracks" are notorious for this. I understand that it could be anecdotal, but I would like to see a comparative study wherein it's noted the racial makeup of the municipality in which the suspect is pulled over versus his or her race.

  • ||

    Why would black drivers be arrested more often? Maybe because African-Americans commit crimes at a far higher rate and are convicted of felonies at a far higher rate.

    Mayhap there's a Catch-22 at work here? I mean, cops used to racially discriminate, and therefore artifically raised the criminality rate of blacks. Now, because blacks are historically more likely to commit crime, they get pulled over more often.

    So, BOO! for encircling the argument.

  • thoreau||

    I gotta say, Steve Chapman isn't exactly high on my list of favorite Reason writers.

    He's no Jacob Sullum.

  • ||

    I think the worst profiling is going on on the interstates. Down here on I-12 it is almost everyday a black or hispanic is busted for drugs. They are usually pulled over for lane violations or following too closely, very discretionary offenses. My guess is that whites are only getting pulled over for speeding.

  • ||

    Ah, sneeky! You apparently got this one posted before David or Radley woke up :)
    Heh. The article is strangely un-PC for Reason, but check out verbiage from the other commenters, which mostly amount to "I don't know anything about this subject, therefore the article is wrong." Typical of liberals: feelings are easier to deal with than actual statistics or in-depth studies.

    This doesn't mean black people _commit_ more crimes, only that they are _convicted_ more. Do you have another example of the crime rate difference?
    Yup. NCVS data matches the arrest and conviction rates.

    From my experience in traffic court, the judge is notably harsher on black and Hispanic citizens than white ones.
    Actual studies with real data don't support your personal observations.

    This isn't even an opinion piece, just conclusions drawn from inconclusive data.
    Well, just continue to make sure you don't see the data.

    Seriously, I wonder if these sorts of studies ever take into account the race of the officers involved in the stops?
    Yup. Results are the same.

    The fact that a larger percentage of blacks than whites have been convicted or jailed for a crime does not mean that blacks commit more crimes. It means only what it says: that blacks are convicted and jailed at higher rates.
    Nope. NCVS data matches the arrest and conviction rates.

    First off, blacks tend to be given higher sentences for the same offense than whites.
    Nope, not when prior convictions, etc, are taken into account.

    Here's an article which sheds some light on "reverse profiling"
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_2_sndgs01.html
    I.e., "Though blacks, 24 percent of New York City's population, committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in the city last year, according to victims and witnesses, they were only 55 percent of all stop-and-frisks."

    Re. this article and the "Duke Rape" fiasco, here's an article about inter-racial rape:
    http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=28129
    "In the United States in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man, while between zero and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man."
    These are incidents reported by victims.

  • Simon9||

    Wow! If that frontpage article is true, virtually no black women are sexually assaulted by whites. Can that possibly BE true? Why should it be so lopsided? No liberal here, but my BS meter is going off.

    There are simply way too many attractive black women, and way too many horny white guys out there for this scenerio to be true (especially since practically everything constitutes "sexual assault" if a woman doesn't like the guy who's taken a liberty).

  • ||

    To those that pointed out the supposed circular reasoning behind the statement "Maybe because African-Americans commit crimes at a far higher rate and are convicted of felonies at a far higher rate.", you are participating in the same kind of reasoning by saying racial discrimination itself is what causes this. It seems to me that the likely explaination is there is a kind of positive feedback loop going on here, propogated by blacks who commit crimes and cops who are actually racist. The real victims here are the non-criminal blacks and non-racist cops, who both have their reputations tarnished by being grouped in with their contemporaries.
    It seems to me though that this study shows cops are at least trying, in general, to pull themselves out of this loop. Is there any evidence that blacks are doing the same?

  • norman||

    "It seems to me though that this study shows cops are at least trying, in general, to pull themselves out of this loop. Is there any evidence that blacks are doing the same?"

    I didn't realize that "blacks" had the same top-down control structure that cops have.

  • ||

    I'm just going to pile on here. Poorly reasoned, poorly written article.

  • ||

    Can something be a "myth" if it's frequently fucking captured on video?

    This site was created by a black ex-cop who was sick of being pulled over for no other reason than the fact that he was black. I'm sure he'll be relieved to discover that it was never actually happening.

  • ||

    I didn't realize that "blacks" had the same top-down control structure that cops have.

    One could argue that they do, or at least something approaching it. What is Al Sharpton?

    Anyway though, my ultimate point is that you can't just always blame "profiling" for the disparities in arrest rates. This not only A) lifts a little bit of the blame from criminals but also B) causes distrust of police in minority communities, which leads to vigilanteism and gives some criminals a social support structure they can hide in. This is a huge problem in minority communities.

    You can provide all the anecdotal evidence you want of police profiling, but I have tons of my own that says black people commit a disparate proportion of crimes. The only thing we can rely on to show us the truth is studies like this one. But, if people are going to always blame the cops no matter what the study shows we will never solve these problems.

  • ||

    The only thing we can rely on to show us the truth is studies like this one.

    I think the issue here is whether or not this study shows anything at all. If someone publishes a study that "blows up the myth" of corruption among politicians, how seriously should it be taken?

    This not only A) lifts a little bit of the blame from criminals but also B) causes distrust of police in minority communities...

    Police have earned their fair share of distrust in minority communities. And criminals are not to blame for poor policing policies and techniques that negatively impact innocent civilians.

  • ||

    I think the issue here is whether or not this study shows anything at all. If someone publishes a study that "blows up the myth" of corruption among politicians, how seriously should it be taken?
    If the data is collected well and interpreted correctly then very seriously. That's what it means to use reason to inform your thinking. Your statement implies that you yourself are resorting to faith; faith in the corruption of politicians and in the racism of police officers. If you see a cop pulling over a black person and think "profiling" or "racism", what makes you different from a cop who sees a black person in an expensive car and thinks "criminal"?

    Police have earned their fair share of distrust in minority communities.
    That is a double edged sword. Again, refer to my statement about positive feedback loops.

  • ||

    Your statement implies that you yourself are resorting to faith; faith in the corruption of politicians and in the racism of police officers.

    Faith is not necessary where there is evidence. There is documented evidence to demonstrate that (many) politicians are often corrupt and always have been. There is documented evidence (see the video link above) that (many) black people get pulled over because and only because they are black. If a study comes out that suggests that the video I posted doesn't mean anything or that it doesn't exist, it is perfectly reasonable to dismiss the study.

    If you see a cop pulling over a black person and think "profiling" or "racism", what makes you different from a cop who sees a black person in an expensive car and thinks "criminal"?

    Nothing, if that's what I thought. But the fact is when I see a black person being pulled over I don't assume the person is guilty or innocent because either could be the case.

    With the amount of police corruption that's documented on a daily basis, it's fair and reasonable to suggest that the police need more scrutiny, not less.

  • norman||

    "One could argue that they do, or at least something approaching it. What is Al Sharpton?"

    No. One could assert that they do, but that hardly constitutes an argument.

    Al Sharpton cannot impose a policy that all black people must adhere to, lest they lose their "jobs" as black people. On the other hand, cops receive their orders (in the literal sense) from their commanders, who receive them from politically elected leaders. They defy those orders at the risk of their careers.

  • Doc S.||

    Can Reason just pretend that someone hacked into their system and wrote this under Steve Chapman's name? I'll pretend to buy into it if the rest of you will.

  • ||

    Le Mur: Typical of liberals: feelings are easier to deal with than actual statistics or in-depth studies.

    Typical of an asshole to begin a rebuttal with an insult. I'm interested to see data to back up your assertions here, though, if you've a second to post links.

  • ||

    There is documented evidence (see the video link above) that (many) black people get pulled over because and only because they are black. If a study comes out that suggests that the video I posted doesn't mean anything or that it doesn't exist, it is perfectly reasonable to dismiss the study.
    No, sorry that is not perfectly reasonable at all. That video is anecdotal evidence. The study doesn't show that racial profiling never happens, such a study would be impossible, but what it does imply is that it is not as big of a problem on a national scale as was previously thought. Now, I don't know how that study was conducted so I can't comment on that. If you do and you want to hack away at its data collection or interpretation methods then go ahead, but don't present some anecdotal video that you found on the internet and say THAT refutes the study.

    Nothing, if that's what I thought. But the fact is when I see a black person being pulled over I don't assume the person is guilty or innocent because either could be the case.
    I didn't say you did, what I did imply though was that you think "profiling", ie. that that person was pulled over because they were black.

    With the amount of police corruption that's documented on a daily basis, it's fair and reasonable to suggest that the police need more scrutiny, not less.
    Maybe not scrutiny but those that are caught should be held more accountable, which they generally are not. THAT is certainly a problem.

    Al Sharpton cannot impose a policy that all black people must adhere to, lest they lose their "jobs" as black people. On the other hand, cops receive their orders (in the literal sense) from their commanders, who receive them from politically elected leaders. They defy those orders at the risk of their careers.
    Ok, those are the differences, here are the similarities: Just as police may draw infrences and attitudes from their commanders and respond how they think their superiors would like many minorities and minority communities take the attitudes and speeches of Al Sharpton(and other minority leaders) and respond similarly. So, when Al Sharpton says "We need to stop police profiling, it is a huge problem" people take that at face value and respond negatively to police, just like when a commander says something like "This is a problem area" referring to a black neighborhood his subordinate officers may in turn start arresting more black people.
    The difference you pointed out is ultimately moot though, unless you can point to a specific policy or procedure that actually says "arrest black people."
    So there's the basic argument. Next time instead of resorting to snark you might actually ask me what it is.

  • ||

    Mr. F. Le Mur: The article is strangely un-PC for Reason, . . .
    Apparently it is too un-PC for Townhall; they have been posting Chapman columns but not this one.

    On a more appropriate (less serious) note, can anyone here reference the ad featuring Danica Patrick that is relevant to at least one of the themes in this thread? Funny stuff but maybe not an effective ad; I don't remember what was being advertised.

  • ||

    The study doesn't show that racial profiling never happens, such a study would be impossible, but what it does imply is that it is not as big of a problem on a national scale as was previously thought.

    This is from the first paragraph of the article.

    We've all heard of the offense of "driving while black." But not everyone has heard the good news: It doesn't exist anymore.

    So, yeah, if I post an anecdote of systematic racial profiling that shows it does exist, it's reasonable to ignore the study, because, for whatever reason, its conclusions are factually untenable.

    I didn't say you did, what I did imply though was that you think "profiling", ie. that that person was pulled over because they were black.

    No, I know it was an implication, but it's still incorrect. When I see anyone being pulled over, white or black, I generally don't think anything and I never assume that the person did or didn't commit an offense.

    Maybe not scrutiny but those that are caught should be held more accountable, which they generally are not. THAT is certainly a problem.

    That's just part of the problem. The other part is that even cops who aren't breaking the law usually won't report the ones who are. Without increased scrutiny by outside agencies, and as long as "good" cops say nothing (I think cops who see illegal behavior by other cops but don't report it should be fired), the situation will not improve.

  • ||

    The difference you pointed out is ultimately moot though, unless you can point to a specific policy or procedure that actually says "arrest black people."

    There are no specific policies or procedures that actually say, "steal drug money," or "lie on reports," but it is a documented fact that this behavior occurs all over the country. You don't need orders to be a bad cop, just a departmental culture that allows it.

  • ||

    This is from the first paragraph of the article.

    We've all heard of the offense of "driving while black." But not everyone has heard the good news: It doesn't exist anymore.

    Yeah, that is editorializing on the part of Mr. Chapman, not a part of this study.

    That's just part of the problem. The other part is that even cops who aren't breaking the law usually won't report the ones who are. Without increased scrutiny by outside agencies, and as long as "good" cops say nothing (I think cops who see illegal behavior by other cops but don't report it should be fired), the situation will not improve.
    Well this is a little bit OT, but I'll indulge anyway. The "brotherhood" of police has it's detriments to be sure, but it also has its advantages. Police can be more effective if they know they have a support structure. These men and women risk theirs lives constantly and not only does this form bonds, but these bonds make them better police officers in some instances. However, it also leads to the problems you describe. I think it's important though to recognize the benefits of this phenomena as well as the detriments. I personally think the better solution is to improve training.
    Also, your last statement is a little broad. Sure, if cops see someone being sodomized by a fellow officer and say nothing they should lose their jobs. But what if they see their fellow officer accept a free muffin at a coffee shop. This is surely against standard procedure, but I don't think anyone should lose their job over it. And if you did have a partner who would report that kind of minor infraction what would you think of him/her? Would you be able to work together with them or would you have to now devote much more of your thought to following all the multiple rules and less to your police work?
    The fact is that this is not a black and white issue. There are benefits to be reaped from having close knit groups of police officers. I have a friend who is a cop in NYC and he often complains about the deterioration of this bond. It doesn't make for good working conditions if you can't trust the other members of your team. We shouldn't seek to eliminate or destroy this "brotherhood" but rather to reduce its detrimental effects through improved training.

  • ||

    Sam, I agree that it's not black and white. I'm talking about things like falsifying police reports and generally bad behavior like that. I think it's more than possible to have an even stronger "brotherhood" with everyone taking care of everyone else and at the same time knowing that if you do something wrong (i.e. unethical), you don't get to be a cop anymore.

    Training is good, but the first step is for police departments to admit they have a problem.

    In the video I linked to, the department wouldn't even talk about the bad policing they were shown on video. That response isn't universal, but it's, sadly, not unusual.

    The site I linked to above has many examples of departments which do and don't take responsibility for the bad behavior of cops caught on video.

  • Jennifer||

    It doesn't make for good working conditions if you can't trust the other members of your team.

    It doesn't make for a good society when the ones sworn to uphold the law run around doing the sort of things wherein the "trustworthiness" of their teammates is the only thing keeping their porcine asses out of jail, either.

  • ||

    Les,
    Ok, fair enough, but I'd be willing to bet that most police departments ARE highly ethical and professional, and it is the poor ones that are the exception, not the rule, just like unethical and rascist cops are similarly the exception. I've never seen any research to this effect so I don't really know though. I'll peruse that website you linked to.

    Jennifer: It doesn't make for a good society when the ones sworn to uphold the law run around doing the sort of things wherein the "trustworthiness" of their teammates is the only thing keeping their porcine asses out of jail, either.

    Ok, but I think I kind of addressed this point already. Like I said it is not a black and white issue. Police are fallable human beings like the rest of us. The idea is to keep the most fallable of them out of the picture while allowing the rest to do their jobs. Obviously, this is easier said than done.
    It also does not make for a good society if the ones sworn to uphold the law can't do their jobs properly.

  • ||

    Ok, fair enough, but I'd be willing to bet that most police departments ARE highly ethical and professional, and it is the poor ones that are the exception, not the rule, just like unethical and rascist cops are similarly the exception.

    I would state that anyone willing to arrest another person for, say, possession of a smalll amount of marijuana, is unethical.

  • ||

    I would state that anyone willing to arrest another person for, say, possession of a smalll amount of marijuana, is unethical.

    That's a tough issue. While I completely agree that the laws forbidding marijuana use are completely unethical it's quite a bit different to say the people enforcing those laws are similarly unethical. We are a nation of laws and we need to have police to enforce them no matter how they may personally feel. It is not the role of the police officer to question or interpret laws but enforce them. How could we possibly have a society if the police could pick and choose which laws they wished to enforce?
    If you feel a law is immoral you need to work to have it changed. That's the way our society works, for better or worse. In my opinion the opposite is much worse.

  • ||

    Typical of an asshole to begin a rebuttal with an insult.
    Well, I guess your post wasn't a rebuttal, so you're OK there...

    I'm interested to see data to back up your assertions here, though, if you've a second to post links.

    Here's the inter-racial rape info:
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/cvus/rape_sexual_assault700.htm (table 42)->
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/cvus/current/cv0542.pdf (4th entry in table).

    All the other info re. sentencing, etc., are all from:
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/
    http://www.ncjrs.gov/
    and a university (Rutgers, IIRC) which partners in data analysis. I haven't messed around with these sites for several years, and so don't have specific links to back up each statement, but it's all there and not too diffcult to find.

    There *are* treatment and sentencing discrepancies, though: major ones between men and women (everywhere and for everything), and a minor black/white death penalty discrepancy in some southern states (white men are slightly more likely to be sentenced to death for similar crimes/situations).

    I don't like gov't stats (e.g. the way the FBI keeps 'hate crime' statistics shows that Hispanics can be victims but never perps) any more than the next guy, but in lieu of anything else...

  • ||

    How could we possibly have a society if the police could pick and choose which laws they wished to enforce?

    Good cops and bad cops alike do this every single day.

  • ||

    i've been trying to access Reason.com but by the looks of this article, i keep stumbling upon the website for the National Review and/or the Manhattan Institute. This BS passes for libertarian? Try telling this black man who was surrounded by five cop cars for allegedly running a Stop sign that racial profiling is a myth! Overzealous police are one of the worst forms of big government.

  • ||

    In much the same manner as his partial-birth abortion article, Chapman makes no attempt to address some of the more obvious, and libertarian, disagreements with his point. Why does he not address the obvious chicken-and-egg dilemma of "more blacks in prison" and "more blacks searched and arrested"? He uses the former to justify the latter when it could very well be that the former was caused by the latter. This article contributes nothing of value to this debate.

  • ||

    Hm. Bureau of Justice Studies...

    Anyone wanna weigh in on the likelihood that Rove political appointees influenced this?

  • Dick Cheney||

    "while between zero and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man."

    You haven't been to the Halliburton company picnic.

  • norman||

    "So there's the basic argument. Next time instead of resorting to snark you might actually ask me what it is."

    I didn't realize I was resorting to snark, so much as responding to it.

    You've assumed a great deal about what my feelings on the larger subject at hand are. I was merely trying to point out there's a difference between holding "the Black community" responsible for the actions of individual black persons, and holding the community of cops, or more accurately the administrations that oversee them, responsible for the actions of individual cops. The former is at best futile, and at worst smacks of bigotry. The latter is what we expect, or at least should expect, from our elected officials.

    I don't know with any certainty that profiling is as prolific as Sharpton and his ilk would have us believe. I'm even less certain that it's a "myth" (and to be clear, Chapman didn't assert that it is less prevalent, but that it is in fact a myth, [in which case, by the way, it's perfectly acceptable to refute the claim with anecdotal evidence]). But to the extent that it does exist, it can only be addressed by holding cops accountable. To try and hold the "Black community" responsible (which I believe is a reasonable inference of your questiont: "Is there any evidence that blacks are doing the same?")
    is tantamount to trying to hold the "White community" responsible for Enron or (won't this strike at your dispositions!) the past sin of slavery, (and for that matter, every present-day racist asshole with a nigger joke). As individuals, black, white, whatever… We aren't responsible for the actions of others. But organizations, especially ones that are funded by our taxes, can and should be held responsible for its member's actions. Specifically because they can regulate their membership, and demand standards of behavior.

    p.s. Jesus, I seem to get more and more parenthetical as I drink! At one point I had to stop and re-edit because I didn't know what came after brackets.

  • ||

    Well, I guess your post wasn't a rebuttal, so you're OK there...


    Just doing my best to respond in kind! Thanks for the info.

  • Steve Verdon||

    Mayhap there's a Catch-22 at work here? I mean, cops used to racially discriminate, and therefore artifically raised the criminality rate of blacks. Now, because blacks are historically more likely to commit crime, they get pulled over more often.

    Did you read the article? They don't get pulled over more often. Kind of shoots this hypothesis in the foot.

    Oh, and to the commenter that says that the number of people who are in prison is unrelated to the number of people who commit crimes...kerwhat? Of course, they are related, just because the correspondence is not 1-to-1 does not mean that there is no relationship.

    There are simply way too many attractive black women, and way too many horny white guys out there for this scenerio to be true (especially since practically everything constitutes "sexual assault" if a woman doesn't like the guy who's taken a liberty).

    Jesus this is idiotic. Rape isn't about a guy being horny and finding a girl attrative.

    Faith is not necessary where there is evidence.

    But you don't have any evidence since you don't trust the official data. The official data doesn't conform to your beliefs, so you chuck the data instead of revising your beliefs. That isn't rational.

    If a study comes out that suggests that the video I posted doesn't mean anything or that it doesn't exist, it is perfectly reasonable to dismiss the study.

    But did the study say that or did Steven Chapman? Saying that DWB is no longer a pervelant problem and only exists in isolated cases/places/etc. then the study can still be consistent with the anecdotal evidence you provided.

  • ||

    But did the study say that or did Steven Chapman? Saying that DWB is no longer a pervelant problem and only exists in isolated cases/places/etc. then the study can still be consistent with the anecdotal evidence you provided.

    That's very true. I should have said that we should dismiss Steven Chapman, who did a very poor job of reporting on the study. And I wouldn't chuck any study just because it doesn't conform to my beliefs. But I will be skeptical of this study's conclusions because: 1. it's a government study that says the government is doing well and 2: I just know of too many incidents involving black drivers getting pulled over for no reason. That doesn't mean that I couldn't be wrong (I frequently am), turning anecdotes into non-existent patterns as is our nature, but I'd like to see an independent study, first.

  • ||

    Link found here: http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/484/blacks_hispanics_more_likely_searched_traffic_stop_racial_profiling

    -----------------------------

    Even when police searched motorists' vehicles, they were unlikely to find anything. Fully 88% of all vehicle searches resulted in no contraband found. In previous reports, BJS published figures on "hit rates," or successful searches, by motorists' race, but it did not include that critical information in this year's report.

    "The omission of data on hit rate by race is a glaring omission," said Scott Morgan, associate director of the Fourth Amendment education group Flex Your Rights. "Racial profiling apologists will first argue that there is no such thing as racial profiling, and when you refute that, they revert to the argument that profiling is justified by higher levels of criminal activity," he told Drug War Chronicle. "Hit rate data is crucial to refuting the argument that this discriminatory treatment of minorities is justified by their behavior."

    Previous versions of the BJS report have found that police were less -- not more -- likely to find drugs or other contraband in vehicles driven by minority drivers than by white drivers. The lack of such data in the current report is a serious problem, said Reginald Shuford, senior staff attorney for the ACLU's Racial Justice Program.

    "Many studies have concluded that despite being more likely to be searched by police, African American and Hispanic drivers are actually less likely to be carrying contraband," Shuford told the Chronicle. "This report is silent on that issue, but this is data that absolutely must be recorded and analyzed."
    ------------------------

    To summarize: Even though Blacks and Hispanics are being disproportionately searched, past hit rate data, which was ever so conveniently left out of this year's report, says that drugs and contraband were more likely to be found in cars driven by whites.

    So, are the police are more proficient at identifying white criminal drivers or is the net catching and searching minorities is way too big? Take your pick, but IMO that reflects a problem.

  • Tito||

    I wonder how the stats turn up when you forget race and just factor financial status or appearance thereof. If im driving a nice lincoln escalade but im dresser like some punk rocker im i more likely to get pulled over than a guy in a nice suit driving an old beat up cutlas supreme? Why is it always about race? cant the cops discriminate due to you looking like a hobo instead of being one race or another? Besides why r we all such hipocrits, if you are standing at an atm and some guy walks up to you and he is of your same racial group (wich is a stupid phrase since we are all human homosapiens but whatever) but he looks like a hobo, are u gonna react the same as if some well dressed guy walked up? Anyone who says they dont judge a book by its cover is a liar or a hipocrit, what makes u less of an ass is what you do after u judge. Everyone does this, need a few examples? ok ill do my best: A republican who finds out some guy is a democrat and immediatly assumes hes some prochoice libertarian freak, a Californian who thinks all newyorkers are rude, a guy who thinks all golfers are rich pompous jerks, a woman who thinks all men are sex addicts (weeeell) a father who thinks his son is an idiot wholl starve to death for deciding to take art instead of going to med school or a cop who pulls over a black guy cuz he looks 'suspicious'. From the little things to the big ones, these are all things people do, we all judge, so realize that and then start using common sense and treating people right! With that in mind, i think its pretty hard to come to any conclusions from those stats, youd have to factor in so many things that it would almost be impossible. But people love to argue and point fingers at those they dont like sooooo have fun!

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